This is our daughter's fifth year as a member of the youth chorus of the Fairfax Choral Society. During those 5 years she has experienced an organization that fosters musicianship, discipline, professionalism, and perfection and the result being, beautiful music. The organization enriches the lives of these young people by developing a broader knowledge of Fine Arts. We are very thankful that our daughter has been a member of this fine organization.
I have been a member of the Fairfax Choral Society for 26 years. It has been a very important creative outlet for me. I am always impressed with the quality of our programs. Singing with Dr.Mears is a joy and an excellent opportunity to learn such a variety of music as well hone technique. Some of the highlights of my long time "career" with FCS are having the opportunity to travel to England and France to present concerts in historic venues while acquainting so many people with the wonders an American chorus can produce, singing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, joining the Cathedral Choral Society and The Choral Arts Society to produce joint performances, and being a part of the Millenium Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in 2000. Dr. Mears always finds new challenges for us that enable us to grow as musicians, while providing memorable experiences with such conductors as Paul Salamunovich, Craig Jessop and Sir David Wilcox. This is indeed a five star chorus!!
Having sung with FCS for more than ten years, I can honestly say that it is a central part of my life. Yes, it requires a great deal of time and effort from its members, but the rewards of preparing and singing the concerts under Dr. Mears's baton are more than worth it. And it is no small thing to note that my fellow singers and I are volunteers! Before I retired from thirty-plus years of teaching, my teammates at school used to say, "I don't know how you do it." They were referring to the dedication and hours required of the FCS singers, especially as concerts drew near. Fitting rehearsals in around the other duties of a full-time teacher was not easy, but I would always remind them that I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. Amazingly, there were several hundred of us who would give the same answer. We aren't paid, we don't earn a trophy or a magazine cover shot, we are rarely even reviewed by the local arts people. But we love what we do. And we love to share what we do with our friends and neighbors in the greater Washington metropolitan area.
I attended a performance of "Great Music for the Cathedral" put on in conjunction with The Washington Symphonic Brass. It was a very moving and varied performance. I particularly enjoyed Fanfare for a New Millenium by Kevin Kaska and Psaume 24 by Lili Boulanger.
I've enjoyed being a part of the Fairfax Choral Society as a Bass I for the past two years. It was incredibly impressive to sing under both Craig Jessop and Sir David Willcocks in the same year.....I think that is incredibly impressive for a local choral group.
My daughter has been involved with The Fairfax Choral Society (FCS) since we moved to the area in 2005. She has sang with three of their choirs--Treble, Concert and now Master Singers, and plans to continue through graduation in 2012. The choral instruction she receives (has received) from the two youth chorus conductors is phenomenal. They are constantly challenging the choirs with music that helps them to grow vocally and performance-wise. All of their concerts are top-notch professional productions. It is truly amazing to me as a parent and as an audience member to hear what they students can achieve in just one practice each week. The addition of the musicianship classes is extraordinarily valuable for the students, helping them to better understand and become better musicians. We are fortunate to have an organization such as FCS available to us in Northern Virginia. The commitment of the conductors, of the FCS staff, of the parents and the students is truly unique, collaborating to make FCS a premier performing arts outlet for our youth. Thank you.
This is my daughter's second year with the choir and she loves everything about it. She will complain about the distance we have to drive to get to her basketball game but has never complained about the 45 minute trek across town for weekly practices. Monday night choir practice is one of the highlights of her week. The performances are very professional and I am always amazed at how well all the choirs sing, even the youngest members. I am glad my daughter is a part of this great organization. Cindi
I am a musician by training, and it has been a huge privilege for me to sing for many years under Dr. Douglas Mears, artistic director of the Fairfax Choral Society. He is one of the finest musicians I have ever encountered. I have heard instrumentalists who play in orchestras accompanying FCS say they enjoy playing under Dr. Mears more than under any other choral director in the Washington DC area. Why? Because of his exquisite musicianship, his expressiveness, his impeccable organizational skills, his great love for the music itself, and his gentle but commanding manner of communicating exactly what he wants from the players. As a singer, I can truly appreciate these attributes. If one watches him, one knows exactly, without doubt, what he is trying to say musically. He is amazing to watch, and it is amazing the musicality he gets from an all-volunteer chorus. As a result of his hard work with us, we can always be assured that our concerts are well-prepared and will be excellently sung.
Being involved with Fairfax Choral Society has enriched my daughter's high school years. She looks forward to rehearsal each week and has great respect and admiration for the Director. He motivates young people to work hard and he is skilled at choosing music that challenges them and is enjoyable to sing. Some highlights have included singing at Carnegie Hall and singing with the adult choir on several occasions.
When I auditioned for this group (the adult choir) a few years ago, I was looking for a way to have music as a regular part of my life and to participate in a high-quality group. I was impressed from the beginning with how organized and well-managed the group is, and the focus on producing great music. We work hard, and I'm astonished at how good an all-volunteer group can be. It is a wonderful relief from the daily grind and the hustle and hassle of my professional life -- what a pleasure to be part of making beautiful music. I am very proud to be a member of the group.